THL428 Pastoral Counselling: Grief and Loss (8)


This subject addresses the skills and theory required for pastoral counsellors in the area of grief and loss. The skills learnt are applied to specific pastoral settings and this is integrated with a critical analysis of theological and theoretical knowledge in this foundational area of pastoral ministry.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
Distance*Canberra Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL428
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Theology

Enrolment restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Counselling, Master of Pastoral Counselling, Master of Pastoral Counselling (Clinical) and Master of Ministry, who have met the prerequisites for this subject
THL400 and THL420

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to articulate a critical awareness of their own history of grief and loss
  • be able to reflect critically on theological responses to grief, loss and suffering
  • be able to articulate and critique the theoretical stages and tasks of grief
  • be able to discuss critically the various models of grief counselling
  • be able to articulate the various roles of the pastoral counsellor in different loss and grief contexts
  • be able to respond to grief and loss issues in specific pastoral situations
  • be able to recognise and respond to abnormal expressions of grief
  • be able to demonstrate skills in working with people who have suffered grief and/or loss
  • be able to discern when referral is necessary


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • A pastoral counselling approach to grief and loss
  • Skills in grief and loss counselling
  • A theological approach to grief, loss, bereavement and suffering
  • Theoretical approaches to understanding grief and loss
  • On death and dying
  • Self-reflection of own grief and loss experiences and impact on working as a pastoral counsellor in this area
  • The place of rituals
  • Specialised areas in grief and loss - children
  • Specialised areas in grief and loss - suicide
  • Grief and loss in separation and divorce

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. The compulsory residential school will allow students to practice their skills in working with real and roleplay situations of grief and loss in pastoral settings. Students will be asked to reflect on their own experiences and to integrate theological and theoretical knowledge within this environment.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.